Son of the Dragon (#99)

Big Finish Main Range

Perhaps this is how Prince Vlad really was but I don’t think the history books really tell much about his personality. Maybe they do, I don’t know. But he was a freak and how often he changes his mind and accuses everyone of being traitors, despite them standing by him no matter what, it’s just weird. He’s freakin’ bipolar at times! Maybe he was and that’s what we’re supposed to come away with? The acting is good and I think everything comes off well but it just gets weird in a “why bother?” sort of way. The characters play crazy but are they really?

Erimem creates a connection with Vlad and that part is actually the most interesting. Otherwise it’s a lot of running around, battles, Peri in danger, the Doctor in danger, blah, blah, blah. Radu, Vlad’s brother, Vlad, and John Dobrin are the most interesting characters. Vlad goes on a rant about how he didn’t cave in to the Turks when they tried to break him, unlike Radu. But Radu explains it as if he was kidnapped and Vlad wasn’t. Their stories differ, naturally, due to perspective. But it’s confusing since the details don’t mesh up very closely at all. Though it is very good in looking at the perspective of history from a more modern viewpoint, with Peri versus Erimem. Violence as a way to keep down crime—it’s nice to bring it up but perhaps could it be more fleshed out.

Overall this story is interesting but not outstanding. Dangerous but not scary. I like the attempt at getting in to the psyche of the real Prince Vlad the Impaler but ultimately, it just doesn’t work for me. We don’t see enough development of the characters as they’re overwhelmed by the adventure. And I still feel like the story’s been shortened, perhaps cut down, to fit on the CD, allowing the behind the scenes stuff to take more time. Sigh. I’d rather hear more story than people interviewed about the story!

Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant, and Caroline Morris

Writer: Steve Lyons

Director: Barnaby Edwards

Release: September 2007

Laura Vilensky 2019